David Hunke says he will retire from parent company Gannett in September following his stint as chairman of USA Today
USA Today President and Publisher David Hunke will become chairman of the national newspaper as it continues to struggle with falling advertising sales.
The promotion will be short-lived, however. USA Today's parent company Gannett said Tuesday that Hunke will retire from the company at the end of September.
Gannett said it is conducting a search for Hunke's replacement, making it the second high-profile recruiting push for a top executive at USA Today.
The paper is still looking for an editor-in-chief to replace John Hillkirk who stepped down last November to become USA Today's senior editor for investigative journalism and national enterprise reporting.
In the interim, Susie Ellwood, USA Today's executive vice president and general manager, will be responsible for the paper's day-to-day operations.
Also read: USA Today Cuts 35 From Newsroom
Although USA Today still commands a massive readership and the second largest circulation in the country behind the Wall Street Journal, Hunke's tenure has coincided with a period of layoffs, declining revenue and corporate restructuring.
Last week, the paper said it was facing a rough financial quarter and told staff they would have to take an unpaid week off to save money.
In October, 2010, the paper laid off about 9 percent of the company’s more than 1,400 employees as part of what it billed as an effort to grow more digital.
Hunke, 60, joined Gannett in 1992 and held a number of executive positions at papers like the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Detroit Free Press before being named president and publisher of USA Today in April 2009.
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